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What Are Porcelain Dentures?

By Eugene P.
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Porcelain dentures are a prosthetic device designed to fit over the gums in the mouth to replace missing teeth. Dentures can be either complete, meaning they replace all of the teeth in the mouth, or partial, meaning they only replace sections of missing teeth around natural ones that remain. The prosthetic can be made before the removal of the teeth or after. Many people choose porcelain dentures over dentures made from materials such as composite resins or metals, because they have a similar appearance and feeling to natural teeth.

Dentures are created from molds made to the shape of the patient’s mouth. The molds can be taken either before or after the loss or removal of the teeth. When dentures are made before the loss of the teeth, they are known as immediate dentures and can be worn by the patient even before the gums have fully healed. If the molds and dentures are created after the teeth have been removed, then they are known as conventional dentures. Immediate porcelain dentures are considered a largely temporary option and are primarily placeholders until conventional ones can be made.

There are many substances that can be used to make dentures, but porcelain remains one of the most popular. It has many similar aesthetic and functional resemblances to natural teeth, including a certain amount of translucence that provides a more natural appearance. While there are many solid porcelain dentures, there also are dentures made from porcelain and metal; the porcelain is fused to the surface of a metal core for added strength.

Although the name implies that porcelain dentures are made from porcelain, this is not always true. They are made from special ceramics that can be color-tinted during production and are specifically made to be strong and resistant to corrosion and staining. False teeth that are made from composite resins, a type of plastic, can be made to look like natural teeth but often stain easier. Still, both ceramic and resin dentures are regularly produced, and each provides different benefits.

Well-produced porcelain dentures tend to the have the longest functional lifespan of any material. All dentures require periodic adjustments and do decay over time as they encounter normal wear and tear, but porcelain is less susceptible to these hazards. Still, it is possible that a person could go through several sets of dentures over time.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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